Saturday, November 24, 2007

Saturday Morning Cartoons!

Josie and the Pussycats in Outer Space (1972-1974)

Oh, hell, yes! What do you do with a cartoon that's only doing so-so one year? You put it in outer space the next! With only the thinnest of justifications - the gang is invited to play at a space launch and accidentally fall into a space hatch - the core cast of Josie and the Pussycats are transplanted to the outer realms of the galaxy. The lyrics to the catchy theme song are clunkily rehashed to insert the word "outer space" and other space references.

"Josie and the Pussycats" was produced by Hanna-Barbara in 1970 and looks like a smash-up of The Archies and Scooby-Doo. In fact, Josie is a character spun off of The Archies cartoon. The "gang" strongly resembles the Scoobies and Alexandra is just Veronica with a widow's peak. They thwarted bad guys and played original Josie and the Pussycats pop tunes over the credits. On a very strong plus side, one of the Pussycats was African-American and she was often the sharpest knife in the drawer. Hard to say if she was the first major African-American regular cartoon character on Saturday morning, but she is most likely the first black female.

Some trivia, a pre-Charlie's Angels Cheryl Ladd sang and provided voices for the show.

Here are the opening credits...

I'm not sure which episode this is from, but here's a scene where some of the gang have been turned into children and Valerie, the smart black chick, tries to turn them back to their right age. It features one of my pet peeves, a young person playing an older person and using the word "whipper-snapper."

As in Scooby-Doo, chase scenes were often accompanied by songs that were completely unrelated to the action. Unfortunately, I could not find any chase scenes from the outer space version of the show. So, here's one from the original...

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